May 19, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-38) asking if, after being elected as a full-time judge, you may continue to serve on a municipal community board.1 You note
that the community board regularly votes on requests for liquor licenses and land use
issues, and that these votes are advisory to the government entities that ultimately
issue the licenses and/or permits.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provide that a full-time judge shall not
accept appointment to a governmental committee or commission or other
governmental position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy in matters other
than the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice
(22 NYCRR 100.4[C][a]).
Thus, the Committee has advised that a full-time judge or quasi-judicial
official, may not serve on a municipal community board, as it is a governmental
position that is concerned with fact or policy issues in matters other than the
improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice (Opinion
11-50; see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][a]).
Enclosed for your convenience is Opinion 11-50, which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice
1Community boards are appointive local representative bodies with up to 50 unsalaried members (see